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Minister Fajon at the European Forum Alpbach on the EU’s geopolitical awakening

At the invitation of Austrian Federal Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, Minister of Foreign Affairs Tanja Fajon attended the European Forum Alpbach, which is taking place in Tyrol under the title New Europe.

hall, the minister during an informal conversation with the participants

Minister Fajon talking to the participants of the Forum | Author Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve

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Minister Fajon took part in a panel discussion entitled “The EU's Geopolitical Awakening”, which was attended, in addition to the Austrian Foreign Minister, by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský, Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok, Director of the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy Velina Tchakarova, and Alexander G. Soros, Deputy Head of the Open Society Foundations.

It is symbolic that this interesting and topical debate took place today, when Ukraine, in a state of war, is celebrating its Independence Day. Minister Fajon reiterated her condemnation of the Russian aggression and called for an end to the war without delay. “We need wisdom and a long-term geopolitical strategy. The current crisis has shown us and the world that the European Union is strong when it is united, and this should be the guiding principle of our continued geopolitical awakening,” she stressed. The speakers agreed that the EU had shown unity in its response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine and that the current geopolitical momentum should be exploited for developing a longer-term geopolitical approach.

The debate also touched on the proposal to abolish tourist visas for Russian citizens. “I am not in favour of limiting tourist visas. Any visa restrictions would also prevent people who oppose Putin’s policies and would like to get out of Russia from leaving the country. I believe that abolishing visas would be a risky move with a possible boomerang effect,” the Minister said.

Minister Fajon thanked her Austrian counterpart Schallenberg for the invitation and the warm welcome. She will host him next week at the 17th Bled Strategic Forum, where both are due to take part in the discussion entitled How Many Europes in Europe?